The Premier League season is still on hold Image Credit: AFP

Concerns over the restart of the English Premier League remain — despite teams voting to resume contact training — after organisers have announced that four more people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 after the third round of testing, raising the total number to 12 across the league.

The four cases have come from three clubs, with the league not announcing the names of those who tested positive.

“The Premier League can today confirm that on Monday and Tuesday, 1,008 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, four have tested positive from three clubs,” a league statement said.

“Players or club staff who have tested positive will now self-isolate for a period of seven days.”

Previously, between May 19-22, 996 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19, of which two tested positive from two clubs. Some 748 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19 on May 17-18, with six testing positive from three clubs.

Premier League further said that for the fourth round of testing, the number of tests available to each club would be increased from 50 to 60.

Earlier, the 20 EPL clubs voted unanimously to resume contact training. It means that “squads are now able to train as a group and engage in tackling while minimising any unnecessary close contact”.

The Premier League clubs have been allowed to start small-group, non-contact training from last Tuesday after all elite football games in England were suspended on March 13 due to the coronavirus outbreak.